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Author Topic: Nuclear Weapons & Deterrent - POLITICS  (Read 2944 times)

Offline sferrin

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Re: Nuclear Weapons & Deterrent - POLITICS
« Reply #75 on: December 06, 2017, 06:22:00 am »
Secondly, there is a difference in recognizing that more than several nations have been able to take advantage of the sacrifice of the United States to advance their internal political agenda through promotion of the welfare state.  This does not mean that "pro-American" = 'my country right or wrong'.

Quoted for truth.  Just look at the situation to the North, and how they've gutted their military with no end in sight. (But those entitlements keep growing.) 
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline kaiserd

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Re: Nuclear Weapons & Deterrent - POLITICS
« Reply #76 on: December 06, 2017, 10:42:33 am »

Indeed doing the math there are probably far more contributors who are reflexively “pro-American” (“my country right or wrong”) than from any particular “anti-American” position.
Speaking as a non-American I would note this strange want of certain sections of contributors to be treated the same as the likes of Russia and the PRC.
The US is a liberal democracy and our friend (and long may it stay both, even during this difficult period) and as such we will hold it to higher standards than one party authoritarian states or kleptocracies.


Firstly, there is is difference in recognizing the positive benefits of the United States in making it possible for liberal democracies to be the predominant political system in use - vs - "my country right or wrong".

Secondly, there is a difference in recognizing that more than several nations have been able to take advantage of the sacrifice of the United States to advance their internal political agenda through promotion of the welfare state.  This does not mean that "pro-American" = 'my country right or wrong'.

Lastly, when you make statements categorizing some large percentage of contributors as 'reflexively "pro-American" ("my country right or wrong") it is not only inaccurate, you are implying these contributors are not objective.  Perhaps it is the writer who is wearing the blinders of neutrality whilst cloaked within the armor of thy neighbor?

Awesome post, clearly very objective and looking for genuine discussion...  👏 ......... 😳


Offline marauder2048

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Re: Nuclear Weapons & Deterrent - POLITICS
« Reply #77 on: December 06, 2017, 11:45:28 am »
You clearly did not pay attention when I pointed out that Euroepan NATO has nearly 2:1 military personnel superiority over Russia

That's a very curious way of measuring the conventional balance of power and may
have little relevance given Russian investment in UGVs and automation in general.


Offline sferrin

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Re: Nuclear Weapons & Deterrent - POLITICS
« Reply #78 on: December 06, 2017, 01:18:08 pm »
You clearly did not pay attention when I pointed out that Euroepan NATO has nearly 2:1 military personnel superiority over Russia

That's a very curious way of measuring the conventional balance of power and may
have little relevance given Russian investment in UGVs and automation in general.

And virtually irrelevant given Russia's declared "escalate to deescalate" strategy, i.e., "we'll nuke you if you attack our forces with conventional weapons".
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline kaiserd

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Re: Nuclear Weapons & Deterrent - POLITICS
« Reply #79 on: December 06, 2017, 02:39:42 pm »
Secondly, there is a difference in recognizing that more than several nations have been able to take advantage of the sacrifice of the United States to advance their internal political agenda through promotion of the welfare state.  This does not mean that "pro-American" = 'my country right or wrong'.

Quoted for truth.  Just look at the situation to the North, and how they've gutted their military with no end in sight. (But those entitlements keep growing.)

Less about “truth” and more about your personal political baggage.
Nearly every 1st world democracy have adopted various different balances between military spending versus social protection spending versus that adopted by the US (they also adopt different balanced between taxation and spending).
They are more than allowed to do so, aren’t they? Or do you want to impose your particular views on them?

Most countries would, for example, envy the Canadian health system. Maybe envy is involved with your comments.....

Offline marauder2048

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Re: Nuclear Weapons & Deterrent - POLITICS
« Reply #80 on: December 06, 2017, 03:19:30 pm »
The view on Canada's underfunded military is far from a strictly American perspective.

http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2017/sen/yc33-0/YC33-0-421-10-eng.pdf

Offline Triton

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Re: Nuclear Weapons & Deterrent - POLITICS
« Reply #81 on: December 06, 2017, 07:51:44 pm »
"FPI Bulletin: NATO Defense Spending"
by David Adesnik | July 7, 2016

Source:
http://foreignpolicyi.org/content/fpi-bulletin-nato-defense-spending

Quote
By NATO’s own standards, the alliance’s European member states should be spending substantially more on defense. If they reached the target of spending 2 percent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on defense, total spending would rise by $100 billion per year–a 40 percent increase. Only the United States remains well above the 2 percent target, yet the Pentagon’s budget has fallen sharply since 2011. When NATO’s 28 heads of state and government convene tomorrow in Warsaw, they should chart a clear path toward greater investment in defense, including specific plans and benchmarks for reaching the target within the next six to eight years.

Signs of Life

After years of decline, military spending by NATO’s European member states rose by 0.6 percent in 2015. The alliance projects additional growth of 3.0 percent in 2016. These signs of recovery are a direct response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and invasion of eastern Ukraine in the spring of 2014. In September of that year, at its summit in Wales, the alliance instructed all member states who were spending less than 2 percent of GDP on defense to begin moving toward that target. The alliance had established the 2 percent guideline at its Riga summit in 2006, yet did not include the goal in the official summit declaration endorsed by all member states. Before the Riga summit a NATO spokesman even explained, “Let me be clear, this is not a hard commitment that [member states] will do it. But it is a commitment to work towards it.”

While the instructions given at the Wales summit were also non-binding, they carried greater diplomatic weight and included three supporting provisions that laid out benchmarks for low spenders. First, the Wales declaration called for an immediate end to further reductions in defense spending. Second, the declaration called for spending growth consistent with overall GDP growth. Third, it called for member states to meet the 2 percent target within a decade.

Repairing the Long-Term Damage

The recent uptick in defense spending by NATO’s European members hardly compensates for the decades of decline that preceded it. From 1985 through 1989, the alliance’s European members spent an average of 3.3 percent of GDP on defense. That fell to 2.7 percent for 1990-1994, 2.2 percent for 1995-1999, and 1.9 percent for 2000-2004. By 2009, the average had fallen to 1.7 percent, and then fell to its low point of 1.45 percent in 2015. This year’s projected growth will only raise that figure to 1.46 percent of GDP—an indicator how much further the European allies must go to recover lost ground.

For monitoring long-term trends in NATO defense budgets, spending as a percentage of GDP is the most useful indicator, although hardly a perfect one. Wild swings in the value of member state currencies make it very difficult to compare different countries’ spending habits in real dollar terms. For example, the Euro was worth more than $1.40 in mid-2011, but only a bit more than $1.10 today. Even if European defense spending had remained constant over the past five years, translating it into dollars would create the impression that it had fallen by more than 20 percent. Measuring defense budgets as a percentage of real GDP avoids this problem. While GDP itself changes from year to year, it varies much less than the value of a particular currency.

Why 2 Percent?

Prof. John Deni of the U.S. Army War College dismisses NATO’s 2 percent goal as arbitrary. “Why not 3 percent—or 1 percent?” he asks. In theoretical terms, Deni is right; there is no correct amount to spend on defense. Yet the history of the 2 percent target helps explain why it was chosen. In 2004, notes Danish scholar Sten Running, NATO’s political leadership directed its staff to develop a spending target, along with other measures of military input and output. The staff observed that 2 percent of GDP was the median level of spending for the alliance from the end of the Cold War until 2003. Thus, 2 percent was hardly an ambitious target; half of the allies already met the standard, and the rest did not fall short by too much.

The 2 percent target has also come under fire for measuring the wrong thing. The amount a nation spends on defense is only an input to the process of generating military power. What matters more is the output of the process—actual military forces. However, the process of translating fiscal inputs into military outputs is exceptionally complicated, whereas spending levels result directly from decisions made at the highest levels. In the words of Jan Techau, the director of Carnegie Europe, the 2 percent target is a “flawed but indispensable” indicator of “who is and who is not politically committed to NATO’s core task: European security.” Techau observes that “failure or success in meeting the target can easily be grasped.”

The value of the 2 percent benchmark is not an argument against the use of other metrics as well. As Techau notes, NATO itself developed a much more sophisticated set of metrics in 2011, but its reports are classified. Even so, there is enough information in the public domain to facilitate a more advanced discussion. For example, Greece is one of five NATO members that spends 2 percent of GDP on defense, yet Athens spends 70 percent of its budget on salaries and benefits. The result is a bloated and ineffective force. John Deni points out that Greece has deployed paltry forces to NATO missions in Kosovo and Afghanistan, whereas Denmark has sent much larger contingents despite having a far smaller army and spending only 1.5 of GDP on defense.

The lesson of such examples is not to discard the 2 percent target, but to ensure that it is the beginning of a discussion about burden sharing, not the end.

What to Do in Warsaw

In a new report from the Atlantic Council, General James Jones (ret.) and Ambassador Nicholas Burns (ret.) lay out a comprehensive agenda for reinvigorating the NATO alliance. Jones is a former NATO commander and Burns a former U.S. envoy to NATO. Jones and Burns describe NATO defense spending as “woefully inadequate” and call on individual member states to have their parliaments ratify the 2 percent target as a binding objective, since the alliance itself cannot do that. In addition, they believe that member states should have specific plans that describe planned increases over the next five years, so fulfillment of the 2 percent pledge cannot be deferred to the indefinite future.

While there should be no exceptions to the 2 percent rule, the military strength of the alliance depends most on the capabilities of the largest member states. Besides the U.S., this list includes the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Canada. Even if each of the 21 other allies hit the 2 percent target but these six failed to do so, Europe’s contribution to the alliance would not grow in a meaningful way. For now, British defense spending hovers at slightly above 2 percent of GDP, while France met the target as recently as 2009. In contrast, the others spend about 1 percent of GDP on defense. None has enjoyed robust economic growth in recent years, yet Poland and the Baltic States have shown that the political will can be summoned to approve major increases. The more important question may be whether Western Europe is prepared to take the Russian threat the threat as seriously as its neighbors to the east.

In addition to focusing on the amount of spending, it may be useful to widen the discussion beyond the defense and foreign ministry officials who typically focus on military issues. Luke Coffey of the Heritage Foundation, a former adviser to the British Minister of Defence, recommends that finance ministers play an integral in NATO deliberations, since they are the ones who have the greatest control over spending matters. “Educating finance ministers on the importance of military investment might help secure more defense spending in the long term,” Coffey writes.

Mistaken Criticism of NATO

During the current presidential campaign, NATO has become the target of unprecedented criticism that challenges whether the alliance itself is worth preserving, since European members allegedly take for granted that the United States will pay for their security while they spend their own tax dollars on domestic programs. It is true that the U.S. spends more than twice as much on defense as the rest of the allies combined. However, this is an apples-to-oranges comparison since the U.S. military plays a decisive role in East Asia and the Middle East, not just Europe.

In spite of persistent cuts, NATO’s European member states (plus Canada) still spend more than $250 billion per year on defense and have the ability to keep tens of thousands of troops deployed alongside American forces. Those numbers should be substantially higher, yet allowing the alliance to dissolve would only make it substantially harder to leverage European capabilities. While one may hope that a diminished U.S. commitment would spur the rest of NATO to act more decisively on its own behalf, the typical result of hesitant leadership is to promote buck-passing and narrowly self-interested behavior. In contrast, active leadership holds out the best hope for encouraging NATO to spend more on defense and to spend it more wisely.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 08:00:56 pm by Triton »

Offline NeilChapman

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Re: Nuclear Weapons & Deterrent - POLITICS
« Reply #82 on: December 06, 2017, 08:41:47 pm »
Secondly, there is a difference in recognizing that more than several nations have been able to take advantage of the sacrifice of the United States to advance their internal political agenda through promotion of the welfare state.  This does not mean that "pro-American" = 'my country right or wrong'.

Quoted for truth.  Just look at the situation to the North, and how they've gutted their military with no end in sight. (But those entitlements keep growing.)

Less about “truth” and more about your personal political baggage.
Nearly every 1st world democracy have adopted various different balances between military spending versus social protection spending versus that adopted by the US (they also adopt different balanced between taxation and spending).
They are more than allowed to do so, aren’t they? Or do you want to impose your particular views on them?

Most countries would, for example, envy the Canadian health system. Maybe envy is involved with your comments.....

The answer to that has to be relative, doesn't it?

If you have no health care then you may envy the Canadian system. 
If you're in the Canadian system and subject to health care rationing then perhaps less so.
If you're in the Canadian system and need an air ambulance between provinces it's not covered (10-30k) and you may be sick of it.




Offline Triton

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Re: Nuclear Weapons & Deterrent - POLITICS
« Reply #83 on: December 06, 2017, 08:46:13 pm »
"Canadian defence spending among lowest in NATO despite small increase last year"
by Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press

Source:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/nato-spending-gdp-brussels-1.4022576


Quote
The head of NATO threw down the gauntlet Monday, saying he expects all members to increase what they spend on their militaries even as a new report showed Canada lagging behind most of its allies.

Speaking in Brussels where he released his annual state-of-the-alliance report, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said it is incumbent on all members to spend two per cent of GDP on defence.

That is the target all NATO members, including Canada, agreed to work towards in 2014.

"All our efforts must be underpinned by adequate resources and fair burden-sharing," Stoltenberg said.

"It is realistic that all allies should reach this goal. All allies have agreed to do it at the highest level. It can be done."

Stoltenberg's report said Canada saw a small bump in defence spending in 2016, which pushed the percentage of its GDP spent on defence to 1.02 from 0.98.

The increase helped Canada move up to 20th from 23rd in terms of spending among NATO's 28 allies, putting it in a three-way tie with Hungary and Slovenia.

But it was still the smallest share of GDP that Canada has spent on defence since 2012, while only Belgium, the Czech Republic, Iceland, Luxembourg and Spain spent less.
Canada maintains 'there are many ways' of contributing

The figures have taken on new importance following the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has complained about NATO allies not spending enough on defence.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared to all but dismiss the two per cent target during a visit to Germany last month, saying: "There are many ways of evaluating one's contribution to NATO."

That is the message the government has repeatedly delivered, emphasizing Canada's military contributions to Latvia, Ukraine and Iraq in lieu of large spending increases.

While Liberal insiders say Canada's message has resonated in Washington, Stoltenberg was unwavering in his insistence that all allies meet the two per cent target.

At one point during Monday's news conference, he listed the many ways that Spain has contributed to NATO operations and security, which includes contributing troops to a Canadian-led battle group in Latvia.

"Having said that, of course Spain, as many other allies, invests too little in defence," Stoltenberg said.

"And that's exactly why we decided in 2014 to stop the cuts, gradually increase, and move towards spending two per cent of GDP on defence. And I expect that Spain will deliver on that."

Political difficulties acknowledged 

A former prime minister of Norway, Stoltenberg acknowledged the difficult choices politicians must make when it comes to spending limited taxpayer dollars.

He said politicians prefer to spend on education, health and infrastructure and many countries cut defence spending as tensions eased in the wake of the Cold War.

"But my message is that if we are decreasing defence spending in times with reduced tensions, we have to be able to increase defence spending when tensions are going up and now tensions have gone up."

Canada spends about $20 billion a year on defence and would need to double that to reach the NATO target.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan recently revealed that he has ordered officials to look at how Canada calculates its defence spending compared with other NATO countries.

Only five NATO members currently spend two per cent of GDP on defence, though several have committed to reaching the target in the next few years.

The head of NATO threw down the gauntlet Monday, saying he expects all members to increase what they spend on their militaries even as a new report showed Canada lagging behind most of its allies.

Speaking in Brussels where he released his annual state-of-the-alliance report, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said it is incumbent on all members to spend two per cent of GDP on defence.

That is the target all NATO members, including Canada, agreed to work towards in 2014.

"All our efforts must be underpinned by adequate resources and fair burden-sharing," Stoltenberg said.

"It is realistic that all allies should reach this goal. All allies have agreed to do it at the highest level. It can be done."

Stoltenberg's report said Canada saw a small bump in defence spending in 2016, which pushed the percentage of its GDP spent on defence to 1.02 from 0.98.

The increase helped Canada move up to 20th from 23rd in terms of spending among NATO's 28 allies, putting it in a three-way tie with Hungary and Slovenia.

But it was still the smallest share of GDP that Canada has spent on defence since 2012, while only Belgium, the Czech Republic, Iceland, Luxembourg and Spain spent less.
Canada maintains 'there are many ways' of contributing

The figures have taken on new importance following the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has complained about NATO allies not spending enough on defence.

That is the message the government has repeatedly delivered, emphasizing Canada's military contributions to Latvia, Ukraine and Iraq in lieu of large spending increases.

While Liberal insiders say Canada's message has resonated in Washington, Stoltenberg was unwavering in his insistence that all allies meet the two per cent target.

At one point during Monday's news conference, he listed the many ways that Spain has contributed to NATO operations and security, which includes contributing troops to a Canadian-led battle group in Latvia.

"Having said that, of course Spain, as many other allies, invests too little in defence," Stoltenberg said.

"And that's exactly why we decided in 2014 to stop the cuts, gradually increase, and move towards spending two per cent of GDP on defence. And I expect that Spain will deliver on that."
Political difficulties acknowledged 

A former prime minister of Norway, Stoltenberg acknowledged the difficult choices politicians must make when it comes to spending limited taxpayer dollars.

He said politicians prefer to spend on education, health and infrastructure and many countries cut defence spending as tensions eased in the wake of the Cold War.
US Canada

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan stand for the National Anthem of the United States. Sajjan says he has ordered officials to look at how Canada calculates its defence spending compared with other NATO countries. (Cliff Owen/Associated Press)

"But my message is that if we are decreasing defence spending in times with reduced tensions, we have to be able to increase defence spending when tensions are going up and now tensions have gone up."

Canada spends about $20 billion a year on defence and would need to double that to reach the NATO target.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan recently revealed that he has ordered officials to look at how Canada calculates its defence spending compared with other NATO countries.

Only five NATO members currently spend two per cent of GDP on defence, though several have committed to reaching the target in the next few years.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 08:54:33 pm by Triton »

Offline kcran567

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Re: Nuclear Weapons & Deterrent - POLITICS
« Reply #84 on: December 06, 2017, 09:26:40 pm »
I'm not familiar with Soviet tactics, but didn't they plan for tactical use of nuclear waeapons and believe that it was possible to use them to WIN a war, and plan for it? wheras the West relied more on MAD theory. Just asking, not saying it is possible. Hence, Russia actually has some type of underground civil defense system for citizens. The West, and USA, has nothing in preperation for the citizens they are sitting ducks, but there is plenty of COG for those in power and possibly for wealthy elite.

Would N Korea also hold to soviet doctrine that a nuclear war is "win-able"? Does N Korea have any type of underground civil defense program in place?

In short term (because N Korea might not be fully prepared) could they use nuclear weapons asymmetricaly like a freighter sneak attack? Or would there be a signature that could be traced back to N Korea?

Whats to stop N Korea from sharing this tech with ISIS or some other group that would do the dirty work for them?

Again, just asking if anyone here is knowledgable on this.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 09:28:39 pm by kcran567 »

Offline Triton

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Re: Nuclear Weapons & Deterrent - POLITICS
« Reply #85 on: December 06, 2017, 09:27:14 pm »
Less about “truth” and more about your personal political baggage.
Nearly every 1st world democracy have adopted various different balances between military spending versus social protection spending versus that adopted by the US (they also adopt different balanced between taxation and spending).
They are more than allowed to do so, aren’t they? Or do you want to impose your particular views on them?

Most countries would, for example, envy the Canadian health system. Maybe envy is involved with your comments.....

The relevant question is whether Canada is contributing its fair share to the NATO alliance. Should it be spending more than 1.02% of GDP on defense? Some people believe that Canada is a free-rider when it comes to defense.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 10:22:34 pm by Triton »

Online bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons & Deterrent - POLITICS
« Reply #86 on: December 06, 2017, 11:47:45 pm »
http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-moral-case-for-high-tech-weapons

Thought this might be of interest to members. Not a perfect place for it but probably not worthy of its own thread.
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Offline Kadija_Man

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Re: Nuclear Weapons & Deterrent - POLITICS
« Reply #87 on: December 07, 2017, 12:10:16 am »
I'm not familiar with Soviet tactics, but didn't they plan for tactical use of nuclear waeapons and believe that it was possible to use them to WIN a war, and plan for it? wheras the West relied more on MAD theory. Just asking, not saying it is possible. Hence, Russia actually has some type of underground civil defense system for citizens. The West, and USA, has nothing in preperation for the citizens they are sitting ducks, but there is plenty of COG for those in power and possibly for wealthy elite.

Would N Korea also hold to soviet doctrine that a nuclear war is "win-able"? Does N Korea have any type of underground civil defense program in place?

In short term (because N Korea might not be fully prepared) could they use nuclear weapons asymmetricaly like a freighter sneak attack? Or would there be a signature that could be traced back to N Korea?

Whats to stop N Korea from sharing this tech with ISIS or some other group that would do the dirty work for them?

Again, just asking if anyone here is knowledgable on this.

You raise some interesting questions.   However, they all appear based upon paranoia about the DPRK's intentions with it's nuclear forces, rather than strategic reality.

The DPRK has at the moment approximately 20-60 nuclear warheads (depending on which estimate you wish to believe).  The overwhelming majority are free-fall bombs.   The rest are on SRBM and IRBM.  Their ICBM programme has been progressing slowly.   They have successfully tested 1 ICBM capable booster.   They have yet to demonstrate that they have put a nuclear warhead on it.   They have yet to demonstrate that they have a successful re-entry vehicle for their ICBM, which is stable and accurate.

The DPRK will be reserving it's nuclear warheads primarily for use against US/ROK forces on the Korean Peninsular and in surrounding nations (ie Guam/Okinawa/Japanese main islands).   They may, if they overcome all the problems they are facing with their ICBM programme have a few warheads reserved for attacking the US mainland.   It is doubtful they would bother attacking US allies, such as Australia simply because their other targets have higher priority.

The problem with the DPRK using ISIS or another Terrorist group is that they could not trust the Terrorists to use the weapon as they have promised.   Terrorists are fickle in their attitudes and usually have targets other than those favoured by the DPRK or given priority by them.   They would need to be assured that the Terrorists could sneak a warhead into the US and use it to destroy a US city/installation.   Terrorists tend to prefer the idea of destroying Israel or Kabul or Baghdad to attacking Washington/New York/Los Angeles/San Francisco.

As for using a freighter to carry a nuclear warhead to the US or some other target, the US has an extensive array of nuclear detection systems arranged at the entrance to most of it's major ports.   Then there is the problem, most merchant ships are tracked from the exit port to their entrance port.   A ship which deviates would be noticed and a substantial deviation would be required to place a warhead onboard sufficiently well enough, despite what most thriller writers may believe, to hide it from the nuclear detection systems.

It is harder than most people appear to realise to build nuclear weapons and to then hide them onboard a ship and explode them in a foreign nationality's harbour.  As I have said, the only way the US is ever going to disarm the DPRK is either through a nuclear attack of it's own/a massive conventional attack/or sit down at the negotiating table and honestly deal with P'yong-Y'ang.

Offline lastdingo

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Re: Nuclear Weapons & Deterrent - POLITICS
« Reply #88 on: December 07, 2017, 05:01:04 am »
You clearly did not pay attention when I pointed out that Euroepan NATO has nearly 2:1 military personnel superiority over Russia

That's a very curious way of measuring the conventional balance of power and may
have little relevance given Russian investment in UGVs and automation in general.

It might be called cherrypicked because the balance looks different in regard to tanks or artillery pieces (of which the Russians keep a lot on the books).
I still like to point this relation out because it's showing (past any currency exchange rate problems with comparison expenses) that the Europeans in NATO actually do a lot for defence and are far from the weak can't-fight-their-way-out-of-a-wet-paperbag kind of folks.
Looking at the forces in Europe including Russian Europe it looks like Russians might have some initial success (such as overrunning the Baltics and linking up with Kaliningrad Oblast) in the first few week or weeks of a conflict if they enjoy surprise, but would be crushed by the Europeans in the following months even without any American participation. Russia cannot defend itself withc onventional means against the nearly 100 army brigades that European NATO / EU could muster for and send to war within weeks to months.

Americans and those who for irrational reasons prefer bigger, more impressive armed forces in Europe tend to ignore the actual situation and instead focus on the wet paper bag fiction.

And that's the dominant narrative with Americans outnumbering all other nationalities on anglophone internet forums.


Now let me get the curve back to topic, nukes.
The British and French strategic nuclear deterrence are widely respected, and lots of people do (or pretend to) wet themselves because of a handful relatively weak North Korean nukes. The PR China has an effective nuclear deterrent with an arsenal in the vicinity of a mere 200 warheads. Basic nuclear power Pakistan was left 100% unscathed after the Americans learned that UBL had been there for years, possibly even hosted in a Pakistani armed forces garrison city.

There's simply no need for a nuke arsenal of thousands of nukes.
Moreover, it's illegal to have it under U.S. law because the U.S. constitution elevates all signed & ratified treaties to federal U.S. law, and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty obliges the U.S. and the other nuclear powers to work towards nuclear disarmament.
They do interpret this treaty differently than the other about 100 countries that signed it, of course. How convenient. (Still, they used the treaty as pretext to pressure Iran, which has never violated the treaty - insinuations that it did were oftent iems enough to rile of low information TV personalities and voters.)


I suppose the nuclear powers should work towards minimum deterrence, and then towards a "second strike after assembling" capability to further reduce first strike risks.

http://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.de/2017/07/proposal-for-partial-nuclear.html

We're far from sensible policy initiatives regarding nuclear arms control these days, with a U.S. president who didn't know the nuclear triad during campaigning, reportedly asked multiple times why nukes should not be used, provokes North Korea publicly and reportedly wanted to grow the nuclear arms inventory to almost tenfold size for no rational reason whatsoever at some point.

That's a pity. Mankind wasted billions of Euros per year on the ability to crash civilisation, though evidently much lesser expenditures would suffice for deterring a conventional WW3.

Offline lastdingo

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Re: Nuclear Weapons & Deterrent - POLITICS
« Reply #89 on: December 07, 2017, 06:05:20 am »
Last thing I want to do is pay for everybody else's.

Yes, and that attitude is the reason why the U.S. can pull off so little nowadays. To pull off great things a nation has to be united, not a cluster of me!me!me! individuals that don't care about the common good.

That's exactly why going to Mars, addressing climate change, getting universal healthcare coverage, at least sustaining the current level of public infrastructure etc. is so hard to pull off in the U.S.. Only the causes with the best lobbies get funded easily or even lavishly.

Translated to -back to topic- nukes, this egoism is also showing in the approach towards international treaties. The U.S. insists on them regarding obligations of others, but at best grudgingly accepts its own obligations - albeit not all the time by far.

Back in the Reagan days Americans did at least still understand that doing things together on the international stage and agreeing with your adversary in negotiations was a positive thing.
Today the official line is that the president wants to negotiate to rip other countries off as if they were real estate purchasers.